Cross Curricular Experiences in China

China offers students one of the world's great lifetime experiences. Its renowned sights, such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing, Shanghai's skyline and colonial Bund district fully justify their amazing reputations, while the educational benefits to the students of immersing themselves in a totally different way of life will remain with them for many years to come.

Study Experiences has developed a unique tour programme for school and college students combining great sights with fascinating cultural visits and exclusive educational experiences. The educational benefits to the students of immersing themselves in a totally different way of life will remain with them for many years to come.

Our tour programme starts in Beijing, where you will discover the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Monument to the Peoples Heroes, Tiananmen Square, the Olympic Birds Nest Stadium and the Summer Palace. Close to the city are some of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall, truly one of the world’s most awe-inspiring sights.

Your guide will also take you amongst the city’s narrow and busy backstreets, known as ‘hutongs’, where smoky temples, courtyard houses and the hectic bustle of the local markets offer a genuine glimpse of traditional Chinese life. You will travel through the hutongs by rickshaw, which provide the best way to view these traditional areas.

From Beijing, on a 9 day tour, you will visit Shanghai via Suzhou. A delightfully traditional town over 2,500 years old, Suzhou is criss-crossed with canals and full of exquisitely landscaped gardens. In contrast when you travel on to cosmopolitan Shanghai, you will witness the economic growth driving the unprecedented development taking place in China, as well historic sights such as The Bund and the Yuyuan Gardens.

01 Tour Highlights

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

At 468 metres high, this tower is the world’s third tallest TV and radio tower, surpassed in height only by towers in Toronto and Moscow. However, even more alluring than its height is the tower’s unique architectural design. Furthermore the entire structure is sited on rich green grassland to give the appearance of pearls shining on a jade plate.

Visitors travel up and down the tower in double-decker elevators at the rate of seven metres per second. The elevator attendants give an introduction to the TV Tower in English during the rapid ¼-mile ascent. During a visit your group will first travel up to the 2nd ball at 263 metres to take in views across the city, and then spend time in the large lower sphere; a futuristic space city and a fabulous sightseeing hall from which on a clear day offers spectacular views of the city and all the way to the Yangtze River. The Shanghai History Museum is located in the tower’s pedestal.

Shanghai History Museum

The Shanghai History Museum located beneath the below the Oriental Pearl TV Tower was opened in 1984. It is a comprehensive museum reflecting the development of Shanghai and surrounding areas from every aspect, by means of more than 1,300 cultural artefacts, literature, and pictures. It presents a holistic picture of the long history of Shanghai from remote antiquity to the liberation of the city in 1949.

The displays cover Shanghai civilization for over 6000 years, including Ma Jia Bing Culture, Songze Culture and Liangzhu Culture. It also reflects local history from the First Opium War in 1840, when Shanghai was forced to operate as a treaty port and then the foreign concessions become a key part of Shanghai’s history and later liberation.

The Shanghai Volkswagen Car Factory

Founded in 1985 this factory is a joint venture in the field of automotive engineering. By the end of 2010 it had produced over 6 million cars. A tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and offers business studies students a useful insight into joint ventures in the new China and the production techniques used in a modern factory.

The factory consists of 5 production areas and a development centre. On arrival at the Glass Hall of the factory, the plant guide will show you an introductory video, before you board a trolley to visit the workshops. You will visit the Stamping, Welding and Assembly workshops aboard the trolley, before returning to the Glass Hall, where you will see the factory layout map, some completed cars and a short film about the history of the company. Please note that all visitors must be 13 years or older and no photos can be taken in the workshops. The transfer time from Shanghai to the factory is approximately 1 hour.

Yuyuan Garden

Yu Garden or Yuyuan Garden is an extensive Chinese garden located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai. Its exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and the artistic style of the gardens’ Chinese architecture, sculptures and carvings, and the busy Yuyuan bazaar, make it one of the highlights of any visit to Shanghai.

It was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age. Approximately 20,000 square meters in size the Yu Garden is composed of six scenic areas: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall, and the Inner Garden.

Shanghai Old City

Shanghai Old City refers to the large temple complex and the traditional district of commerce in the city, surrounding the temple. There are over a hundred stores and shops in this area, and most of these store buildings are nearly a century old. The temple connects to the Yuyuan Garden, another landmark of the old city. A mall next to the Garden is known as the City God Temple Fair, an interesting place to go shopping, learn about the customs of old Shanghai, admire structures built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties and enjoy the local food. Today, the area is a charming, if chaotic, mixture of the new and old, authentic and fake, classic and tacky.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

The art of drinking and serving tea is an important and special event in China. The Chinese tea ceremony emphasises the tea, rather than the ceremony; what the tea tastes like, smells like, and how one tea tastes compared to the previous tea, or in successive rounds of drinking. The ceremony doesn't mean that each server will perform the ritual the same way and it is not related to religion. Each step is meant to be a sensory exploration and appreciation.

There are three distinctive features of Chinese tea ceremony. First of all, from the way you practice the tea ceremony you show what kind of person you are, your manners, personality, aesthetic view point, and even your inner world. Secondly, the Chinese tea ceremony requires peace and pureness. Thirdly, the tea ceremony in China calls for authenticity. The fine tea is prepared with spring water from a natural environment, authentic bamboo or wooden tools are used, and it is served in a porcelain tea set.

Your students will gain an understanding of the tea ceremony, learn about the different types of Chinese tea and the differences between them, the steps involved in making the tea and then try the tea for themselves. This experience lasts for approximately 45 minutes.

Shanghai Supercomputer Centre

The Shanghai Supercomputer Centre (SSC), was founded in December 2000. This facility was invested and constructed by the Shanghai Municipal Government. With first-rate facilities and full-functions it is the first high performance computing platform open to the public. On-demand high performance computing resources, technical support and senior technology consulting are provided to scientific research, public utilities services, industrial & engineering and commercial users.

“Magic Cube” In 2009, the SSC completed the third phase of its system upgrade. "Magic Cube", a 200Tflops supercomputer was installed, which was ranked the 10th fastest supercomputer in the world and the 1st in Asia in November 2008. "Magic Cube" consists of 1450 4-way blades and 82 8-way SMP rack server, its CPU is quad-core AMD Opteron Barcelona. The total amount of memory is 95TB.

Visits to the centre take approximately 45 minutes; 10-15 minutes in the Mainframe Room: “Magic Cube” (Dawning 5000A), 10 minutes to watch the video “Magic Cube of China – Computing the Future” and 15-20 minutes to visit the 500m2 Exhibition Hall of Computer Science.

Shanghai Science & Technology Museum

The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum promotes science, education, cultural and ideological progress. It aims at offering visitors a unique experience in the modern scientific discipline under the theme of 'Nature, People and Science'.

The museum is composed of a basement and four floors above ground, rising in a spiral, symbolizing scientific progress. A huge glass sphere embedded in a pool of clear water, at the building's midpoint, gives the theme of life renewed. It houses 4 science theatres and 13 main permanent exhibitions which includes:-

Basement - the Temporary Exhibition Hall, IMAX Dome Theatre, IMAX 3-D Large-Format Theatre, Collection Exhibition Area and Popular Science Department Store.

First Floor - the Hall of Widest Spectrum of Life which captures the scenery in Yunnan Province. The Earth's Crust Exploration Hall reveals the secrets of the earth and Shanghai's physical geography. The Light of Wisdom Hall demonstrates chemistry, biology and maths with a large number of interactive items.

Second Floor - the Hall of Earth Home, the Hall of Information Age, the Seeker Corridor, the Robot World and the Spider Exhibition Hall.

Third Floor - the Hall of Exploration Light, the Astronavigation World, the Hall of People and Health, and the Space Theatre.

A minimum of 2 hours is recommended for a visit and audio guides are available in English.

Shanghai Malev Museum

The Shanghai Maglev Museum is located at the first floor of Maglev Lonyang Road station and contains most of the history and technology of the Maglev (Magnetic Levitation Train), one of Shanghai’s airport transport systems. The museum consists of 5 sections; “Birth of Maglev”, “Maglev Shanghai Line”, “Maglev Technology”, “Maglev Superiorities” and “Prospects for Maglev”. Although the displays have limited interaction and are slightly dated in their presentation, the majority have English translations and are informative, with technical specifications and details of the Maglev from its conception by the German engineer and pioneer in magnetic levitation Hermann Kemper, to its present day operation.

One you have visited this museum it is definitely worth travelling on the train itself. From Pudong to Pudong International Airport it takes just 7 minutes 20 seconds to complete the 30km journey. Certainly a trip any student group would enjoy, instead of the normal coach transfer back to the airport at the end of the tour the group can be dropped at the station to travel by train to the airport.

Yakult Factory

Yakult is the world’s leading probiotic beverage created in Japan in 1935. Its factory in the Jiading district resembles a biohazard laboratory. Here, ingredients for their yoghurt are sterilised and placed in giant 6,000 litre fermentation tanks, where they sit at 37C for around a week before being mixed with sterilised water.

A tour to Yakult’s Shanghai factory will not just give your group an understanding of the varieties of Yakult products and its intestinal health benefits, but they will become familiar with the manufacturing equipment in the factory of this famous Japanese drink which is the most advanced of the group’s 38 factories around the world.

The tour includes a briefing about the factory and a video about the Yakult products. The factory areas are viewed via display windows. This visit lasts for approximately 1 hour.

The Bund

Shanghai is undoubtedly the showcase of 21st Century China and its cosmopolitan atmosphere is far removed from most of the country’s other cities. From the Bund, the city’s vibrant waterfront district where you are surrounded by classic 1930s colonial architecture, the view across the river is of the towering skyscrapers of new Shanghai. The incredible pace of development is unmatched by any other city in China, even Beijing, resulting in a constantly changing skyline.

Nanjing Road

The pedestrianised Nanjing Road is considered to be China’s premier shopping street. Starting at the Bund in the east and ending in the west at the junction of Jing’an Temple and Yan’an West Street, this 3.4-mile-long road is always a hive of activity and is a favourite shopping area with locals and tourists alike. The experience of exploring this area will leave you in no doubt as to the speed and scale of China’s consumer economy.

Evening/Extra Activities that can be added to this Tour:-

Acrobat Show - Era-Intersection of Time

A round theatre especially for acrobats, the show held at this venue blends Chinese acrobatics with state-of-the-art multimedia technology and innovation, dazzling both local audiences and overseas visitors alike with incredible stunts, fantastic imagery and poetic illustrations. Allow 1½ hours, price on request.

Evening Cruise on Huang Pu River

Huang Pu River divides Shanghai into east and west, past and future. On its western shore the colonial landmarks of the Bund; on the eastern shore the steel and glass skyscrapers of the Pudong New Area. The Huang Pu River cruise company offers a night cruise to see the lights on the Bund and Pudong. You can admire the views along the banks including the high rises, the Outer Baidu Bridge, the Pearl TV Tower, Jinmao Mansion, the Pudong New District and the imposing Yangpu Bridge. Allow 1 hour (the cruise itself lasts approximately 45 minutes), price on request.

02 What's Included

6 Day Beijing Tour - what the price includes:-

  • Return scheduled flights from London to China
  • 1 checked bag (hold luggage) per passenger
  • 4 nights’ accommodation at good standard hotel in Beijing
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • Lunch on day of arrival
  • Guided tours of Beijing including visits to the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Olympic Sites (Birds Nest Stadium & Water Cube)
  • Rickshaw ride through traditional Hutongs
  • Services of a specialist tour guide throughout your time in China
  • Individually tailored itinerary
  • Educational Visits and Attractions Guide
  • 1 Free Staff Place for every 10 students
  • All Government Taxes, City Taxes, Service Charges & VAT
  • 24 hour emergency cover and support

9 Day Beijing, Suzhou & Shanghai Tour - in addition to the 6 Day Tour content your package price includes:-

  • High speed rail travel from Beijing to Suzhou
  • 1 nights’ accommodation at a good standard hotel in Suzhou (1 night less in Beijing)
  • Transfer to Shanghai by coach
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at a good standard hotel in Shanghai
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • Guided tour of Suzhou including visits to its’ Lingering Garden, a cruise along the Grand Canal and the No.1 Silk Factory
  • Guided tours of Shanghai including visits to The Bund, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai History Museum and Shanghai Old City

03 Further Information

Your Meals

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included during your time in Shanghai.

Your Tour Guide in China

Our guides in China, who will accompany you throughout the tour, are highly trained, professional tour managers, with a special love and knowledge of their country. Always on hand to give advice and to manage your day-to-day arrangements, the guides will ensure you gain the very most from your visit to China. You can rest assured that the service you will receive from the guides in China will surpass your expectations.

Group Size

Our tour programme is based on a minimum group size of 20 students.

Your Choice of Travel Dates

Our China tours are available throughout the year, during term time and also during half terms and holidays. You are therefore able to select your choice of travel dates. Please note that certain dates may carry a supplement to the prices shown. Our most popular travel periods for student groups are during the February and October half terms, the Easter holidays and the July activity week period.

Your Educational Visits & Attractions

To ensure that you make the most of your trip to China your Tours Specialist is able to arrange a wide choice of educational visits, activities and dining options. Full details of everything you might wish to see and do are available in our China ‘Educational Visits and Attractions Guide’.

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